Aldous Huxley’s “Brave New World” Inspires Iron Maiden

It’s a world free of pain and troubles. Emotional distress is encouraged to be suppressed with a recreational drug known as soma. Relationships are looked down upon on, and you can be as promiscuous as you’d like. But you give up your freedom in exchange for all the happiness in the world.


A 1932 first-edition book cover of Brave New World.

This dystopia society that the English writer Aldous Huxley created in his 1932 novel “Brave New World” is what inspired Iron Maiden’s song by the same name. The song was released in the English band’s 2000 album titled “Brave New World.”

It recounts the story of John the Savage, a white man who grew up outside the trouble-free country known as the World State. When he is taken to there he notices a moraless civilization, and he sees himself as a misfit. He choses to exile himself to a lonely place and as a result he commits a tragedy.

Bruce Dickinson sings: “Dying swans with twisted wings, beauty not needed here.”


Iron Maiden’s 2000 album Brave New World.

“I don’t recall there being any dying swans in Brave New World the book. But I wanted an image that represented tragedy and sadness, as Brave New World had done,” the singer explained to Classic Rock Magazine in 2000. “‘Dying swans, twisted wings’, you know, the agony, the death ‘Brave New World’ doesn’t want to see that, it has no use for either the life or the death, all it has use for is the image.”

But it’s the irony of a man being emotionally distraught in a flawless world that attracted Dickson.

“I reread it [Brave New World] a couple of times and some of the lyrics were based upon my feeling about the book,” Dickinson said to Phoenix New Times. “There’s an element of irony to it.”

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